Picking a CRM that Suits your Business

Picking The Perfect CRM For Your Business

A1CRM shares what CRMs should REALLY be capable of and compares some of the big CRM suppliers, so you don’t have to.

Back in the 2000’s CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) were essentially a list of customers and leads, and helped businesses to keep track of proposals. The really good ones even integrated with emails.

But now, 20 years later, things have changed, and CRM users want more. Fortunately, the good CRMs provide more, and the integration between business systems is easier, and therefore, cheaper to achieve.

Integrated CRMs are no longer just for the big businesses that have the dollars needed to implement a holistic operating system: small and medium businesses can do it too, and, at a reasonable price.

What Should a CRM Have as a Minimum?

If you are trying to compare CRMs there are a few fundamental things they should have:

So a huge supporting infrastructure isn’t required to have an on-premise (hosted in your office or a server in Australia) installation. This means you can focus on process improvement, rather than keeping your IT system working

Data centres in Australia
Especially if you are in finance, banking, insurance and medical industries, you won’t want to have your data hosted overseas, and especially not in the USA (homeland security issues). Even for other industries, it is often desirable to have your data hosted in Australia.

To allow automation of regular tasks. For example, assigning a new lead to a sales person, automatically responding to the prospect and creating and escalation if the lead isn’t followed up in a timely manner.

Ability to easily add custom modules/object and custom fields.

Application Programming Interface (API)
API’s allow external programs to connect to your CRM, providing for a much broader capability than the CRM would have by itself. For example, connecting with your accounting system.

Integration with your website
Any Contact Us forms should be able to link new leads directly to your CRM, and include a website chat function

Electronic Signing
To speed up all sorts of transactions, like acceptance of Quotes.

Build-in or integration with phones, SMS and email.

A host of third-party integrations available for connection to your CRM

Advanced Dashboards and Reporting
The creation and automated dispersal of management and operations reporting can make a huge impact in streamlining a business’s processes.

CRM specialist support
Like A1CRM, with CRM Specialised based in Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

CRM Suppliers

There are, quite literally, hundreds, or even thousands, of CRMs out there. Although this provides competition and a huge range of functionality, it also makes it almost impossible for new users to determine which one suits their needs best.

We’ve listed out a few of the ‘biggies’, there are only three listed here, but each of these meets the aforementioned minimum list.

Beware: there are many CRM comparison websites out there. Many of these are paid, so they are not necessarily representing what is truly ‘the top 40 CRMs’, for example.

Here are a couple of relatively unbiased reports (in our opinion):


Probably the most iconic and well-known CRM. The functionality is almost endless, with a huge marketplace (allowing connection to 3rd-party products and additional functionality).


  • Very well known with many implementation providers available worldwide
  • Cloud-based
  • Advanced workflow
  • Rigorous new advanced security protocols
  • Rigorous new release process


  • Every add-on and feature costs more. This probably makes it feasible mainly for big business
  • Time-consuming to implement. The huge level of functionality and options for each function make it complex and lengthy when it comes to implementation
  • Overburdened with red tape

Microsoft Dynamics

Also a well-known CRM. The functionality extensive, with a large marketplace.


  • Very well-known with many implementation providers available worldwide
  • Cloud-based
  • Advanced workflow
  • Advanced security protocols
  • Rigorous new release process


  • Moderately expensive. Most add-on and features cost more. This makes it primarily a CRM for medium to large organisations.
  • Fairly time-consuming to implement. The large level of functionality and options for each function make it complex and lengthy when it comes to implementation.


Not such a well-known CRM. However, its functionality is extensive, with a large marketplace.


  • Many implementation providers available worldwide
  • Cloud-based
  • Advanced workflow
  • International standards for data security
  • Arguably, the least expensive CRM out there, with much of the functionality included in the same base licensing cost (depending on the suite of products chosen). This means Zoho is best suited to medium-sized businesses that have reached the stage of growth where there internal systems need to be upgraded.
  • Quick to implement and easy to understand


  • It is hard to understand which Zoho applications to start with. Usually, some advice is needed from a local partner to point newbies in the right direction
  • The new release process on-going. What this often means is that new functionality is introduced without users knowing, and without being fully tested. However, Zoho’s support is very responsive, and most issues are addressed relatively quickly.


A1CRM is a long-standing CRM specialist, based in Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, we have the expertise to assist in a fully-fledged CRM implementation. Our process begins with finding out what the customer wants, whether it be sales handling, operations management (for example, air-conditioning installers or concrete suppliers) or finance and insurance tracking. This allows us to develop a process that is tailored to their needs.

If you want to have a chat to talk about your needs further, get in touch:

Need Help Selecting the Right CRM for your Business?

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.